Case comment: Occupational Health and Safety Association versus Union of India by Arup Kumar Poddar

Introduction:

Supreme Court has decided number of cases where the environmental degradation was questioned severely and also protected various components of the environment while applying various provisions of the environmental legislation including principles of international environmental law.  In the year 1997, the Supreme Court in a number of cases decided in favour of environmental protection and given a balanced opinion also for the workers working in the industries.  For example, Calcutta Tannery, Taz trapezium cases while shifting and relocating the existing industries, Supreme Court provided monetary relief to the workers working in the industries.  However, there are very few cases where the health issues of the workers working in the hazardous industries have been dealt with by the judiciary.  The present case comment will try to focus on the health issues of workers working in the thermal power plants.

Facts of the case:

In the present case the petitioner represents about 130 Coal Fired Thermal Power Plants (CFTPPs) these power plants are available all over India in different parts of the State.  However, there were no proper occupational health services with adequate facilities for health delivery system available in these plants.  Even there was lack of proper guidelines with respect to health and safety.

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